The sun is out and the pool is the ideal spot to cool off. Whether you are new to aquatic exercises or an experienced athlete, summer is an excellent time not only unwind, but focus on your personal fitness goals. In honor of Summer Fun under the Sun Month at the Center for Health & Wellbeing (CHWB), our certified Group Exercise Instructor, Eva Ruiz, at the Crosby Wellness Center, CHWB’s state-of-the-art fitness facility, shares the top five benefits of joining an aquatic group exercise class and why — regardless of ability level and experience — people of all ages can join in on the fun this summer.
1. Experience a Joint-Friendly Aerobic Activity.
The top benefit of joining an aquatic group exercise class is experiencing a joint-friendly aerobic activity. Aqua exercises can be performed for a longer period since there is less stress on joints and muscles. According to Eva Ruiz, Crosby Group Exercise Coordinator, the buoyancy factor of aquatic group exercise classes allows a person to engage in activities that may not be possible on land. In waist deep water, the body handles only 50 percent of its weight.
“The thing about our aqua classes at the Crosby Wellness Center is that exercises in our classes like Aqua Yoga take more coordination and stability than exercises you would on land,” Ruiz says. “You have the stability of the water holding you, but also the motion of the water can sway you.”
2. Become More Physically Fit.
Studies have continuously shown that swimming improves flexibility, muscle tone, muscular balance, endurance, and the body’s circulation. A consistent swimming regiment also helps the heart muscle to become stronger and aids in the ability to main your weight.
“One of the good things about taking an aquatics class or doing Aqua Yoga, our classes help members with their balance and coordination,” Ruiz says. “But we have aqua classes where you’re also getting more strength and cardio.”
3. Decrease your Risk of Illness, or Rehab from Injury and Illness.
If you’re recovering from an injury or illness, another benefit of joining an aquatics group exercise class is not only the buoyancy factor, but the warmth of a therapeutic pool like one that is found at the Crosby Wellness Center. The two provide a great environment for an exercise program focused on your rehab.
“Our water lap activity pool is heated, which is warm enough for people who have arthritis, muscle joint or stiffness, and people who have had accidents and done rehab at [AdventHealth] Sports Med & Rehab [at the Center for Health & Wellbeing],” Ruiz said. “So, you can do your physical therapy and then come here at Crosby and do aqua classes here to improve your strength and cardio. Our members do the same number of movements on land that they would do in our aqua classes.”
According to recent studies, water offers a 12 to 14 percent resistance factor compared to land-based exercises. This level of resistance prevents sudden body movements that could cause an additional injury. Exercising aerobically for two to three hours or more a week has been proven to lower the risk of chronic medical issues like diabetes and heart disease.
4. Build Relationships with Other Gym Members.
Group exercise classes in the water provide a great avenue for you to make friends with other gym members. “Our aquatic group exercise classes are the most popular classes we have, especially in the morning,” Ruiz says. “You just start building relationships because you let down your guard.”
5. Unwind and Have Fun!
Group exercise in the water can be an excellent way to reach your personal fitness goals, but it can also be fun! Aqua fitness classes can improve your mood, anxiety, and stress, which increases the brain’s ability to think more efficiently. Many aqua classes will play music or share thoughtful sentiments like poems to relax swimmers during class. “We’ll have 60s, 70’s, 80s music. We’ll put on a variety of music and pool noodles,” Ruiz says. “And it’s such a positive interaction.”
So, cool off this summer by splashing into an aquatics group exercise class!
Aquatic Exercise Classes and Lap Swimming at Crosby Wellness Center
Regardless of ability level and experience, people of all ages can swim laps or join an aquatic exercise class. It is important to include low-impact, aerobic exercise in your fitness routine. Lap swimming also provides a unique total-body cardiovascular workout. For more information on lap swimming or aquatic exercise classes, please contact the Crosby Wellness Center Member Services Desk at (407) 644-3606.